Comics : Spider-Man 2099 (Vol. 2) #2

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This review was first published on: Sep 2014.

Background...

So...Spider-Man 2099 is a man out of time trapped in 2014. Miguel O'Hara has decided to reestablish his life in the past and purchased an apartment. One of his neighbors is a lady named Tempest, who was ungrateful when he saved her as Spider-Man. Miguel also has a job at Alchemax as the assistant to his boss, Tiberius Stone, who also happens to be his grandfather. Last issue, the CEO of Alchemax, Liz Allen, began to catch on that she has Spider-Man employed in her company.

In Detail...

"Women and Secrets"
Spider-Man 2099 (Vol. 2) #2
Oct 2014 : SM Spin-Off
Summary: Spider-Man 2099 Stars!
Editor:  Ellie Pyle
Writer:  Peter David
Artist:  Will Sliney
Cover Art:  Alexander Lozano
Lettering:  VC's Joe Caramagna
Colorist:  Antonio Fabela
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Review

At the Bank of the United States, a robbery is in progress, with police on standby outside. Our main character, Miguel O’Hara, narrates, “It seems that everywhere I go, problems start.” He is disappointed that he walked into a “shockin’ bank” and “thirty seconds later there’s a damned robbery in progress.” He figures he should learn to “roll with it” but it’s a pain in the butt.

Frustrated, Miguel, outfitted in his costume, rescues a hostage and robbers begin firing at him. He jumps from the ceiling and throws one goon into the other. A third robber attempts to tear Spider-Man’s webbing off his gun. When Spidey glares at him, he sputters, “Robbing the bank, totally them. They were like, ‘It’ll be easy’ but I’m like, ‘But guys it’s a bank robbery! We shouldn’t be doing that.’” Miguel doesn’t give into the robber’s story and punches him in the face. When Spider-Man steps outside, the police order him to put his hands in the air. He thinks, after dealing with Spider-Man so long, they should know putting his hands in the air is a “nonstarter.” Miguel quickly escapes with webbing and hopes he can return to the bank tomorrow without incident.

Later, Miguel knocks on the door of his neighbor, Tempest’s, door. He holds out a bouquet as thanks for her cleaning blood off his apartment floor last issue. She seethes that the blood belonged to “the last guy who tried to give me flowers.” Miguel replies, “My arm’s getting tired,” and she slams her door. A few seconds later, though, she opens her door and asks Miguel, “Why do you wear sunglasses indoors?” We all know he does this because his eyes are sensitive to light, but he nonchalantly replies, “It’s how I look cool.” Tempest indirectly invites him into her apartment.

Inside, Miguel asks if Tempest likes sports because she has many posters of it hung on her walls. She explains, “My dad wanted a boy. When I turned out to be a girl, he didn’t care and took me to every game he could afford.” She asks how Miguel’s dad is, and he mentions they don’t talk much. Little does she know that his father is the one who has stranded him in the past. Tempest offers him water and he notices her mail.

Tempest asks why Miguel is being nice to her, since that only happens when somebody wants something, but he explains he wants nothing. When she offers him water, she calls it “Evian.” Miguel is confused that the water has a brand. He explains, “I come from the year 2099. By that time, water is just water.” It sounds so ridiculous that Tempest dismisses it as him kidding. Miguel thinks to himself, “It’s so easy fitting in in this time. People ask me questions, I answer them honestly, and they assume I’m joking, so it all works out.”

Soon, Miguel and Tempest’s conversation becomes serious when he abruptly asks her how sick she is. She plays dumb, and he explains, “You’re twenty-something, obviously. Should be in good health. But you’ve got a lot of medical bills.” Tempest grabs his glass of water, yelling, “Get out!” She throws the glass at him and he easily catches it. He apologizes for upsetting her and leaves.

As Miguel walks to the elevator, Lyla, his holographic adviser, asks why Tempest was so angry at him. He explains that she thought he was being intrusive, but he didn’t think so. Miguel wishes he knew what was happening in his native year. Lyla replies, “Gabriel is trying to find a way for you to time travel back to 2099.” He asks how she could know that, and she admits, “I can’t. Just granting your wish.”

As he’s entering the hallway, Lyla mentions Miguel has company. Inside, he is surprised to discover his boss, Liz Allen, outside his apartment. She inquires who he was talking to, and he describes it was a voice on his phone. What ensures in a confused conversation about Siri, until Miguel lets his boss into his apartment. She explains that she’s there to “chat.”

Liz is surprised to discover Miguel’s only furniture is a lawn chair in the middle of his apartment. “I love what you, eh…have failed to do with the place,” Liz says. He welcomes her to sit in the chair, and she asks him who he is. Miguel explains that he’s “no one in particular.” Liz begins asking him a series of questions: “Did you play guitar for an indie band called Sleepaway? Do you own a book store in the UK?” To this Miguel answers “no.” Liz clarifies that those were the only Michael O’Maras she could find. His social security number belongs to someone who died in 1968, and his resume is a fraud. Miguel’s secret has been discovered. “I’ll be having a separate conversation with our hear of HR who, by all accounts, found you relentlessly charming and wasn’t properly scrupulous,” Liz explains. “But I’m asking you now: who are you?”

Miguel decides there is no other option than to pick Liz up and throw him out the window. But he decides not to, dismissing it as too “overdramatic.” Instead, he asks why she’s questioning him. She explains it’s because she believes he’s Spider-Man. “You can deny it all you want, of course. Out of respect for the fact that Spider-Man saved my son, I’ve come to you first,” she explains. Liz expounds that she will be telling the world soon, though, and “people lying about their identities is not very popular nowadays.” She hopes he enjoys speaking to the government and heads to the door.

As Liz is about to leave, Miguel convinces her to stop. When she turns around, she finds he is dressed in a futuristic suit. He tells her the truth: “My name is Miguel O’Hara. I come from Alchemax in the year 2099. For the moment, I’m stuck here.” He mentions Tiberius Stone is his grandfather and, if she tells anybody about his true identity, he might have to throw her out the window.

When Liz asks how he changed his clothes so fast, Miguel is disappointed that that’s what she got from his large exposition. He reveals to her Lyla, who is responsible for changing his clothes so quickly. Miguel asks if there’s anything Liz wants to keep her mouth shut, and she decides to kiss him. Miguel is in shock, and, as she’s leaving, she asks if the cubs make it to the World Series. He asks what the World Series is, and she leaves.

Lyla queries if the outlandish outfit she created was good enough, and wonders why he needed it anyways. He replies that her disguise was great, and he needed it because “that’s how people now think we dress in the future.” Miguel, with lipstick on his face, figures he will only know if his act worked if he has a job tomorrow.

When somebody knocks on his door, Miguel assumes it’s Liz, but it’s actually Tempest. Miguel clarifies to her that the woman who just left his apartment was his boss. Considering the lipstick on his face, he clarifies they’re friendly. Miguel asks, “So what is it? Something else you want to throw at me or--?” Tempest reveals that she has leukemia. Particularly, she has a rare type of leukemia. She could try radiation treatment but figures it wouldn’t work. Tempest has months left, at the most. As she leaves, she thanks Miguel for the flowers. He stands in his doorway, obviously flabbergasted.

In General...

This is a fairly typical second issue for a series, as it’s slower than the first. David’s only scene with Miguel in costume is during the bank robbery scene at the beginning, which is a standard fallback for when a writer doesn’t have any ideas for a conflict in an issue. It still isn’t obvious where David is heading with the series as far as villains and conflicts go, but I get the feeling he’ll be getting to that soon enough.

Instead, this issue excels at character interactions. The exchanges between Tempest and Liz are intriguing and add new complexity to their relationships. I predict Tempest will be playing a major role in this series, and I think Liz still suspects Miguel’s Spider-Man, so she’s bound to manipulate him. It’ll definitely be interesting where David goes with these characters and their relationships with Miguel in this series.

Like last issue, Will Sliney draws this issue pretty well. The art’s pacing works with David’s script and the humor never falls flat. I noticed that Sliney uses many before-after panels where the same panel is copied two or three times, but one factor varies in each one (for example, Page 1, Panels 3-5; and Page 6, Panels 1-3). This is pretty effective for the storytelling. I also like how, although Sliney is a somewhat new artist, he has developed his own style with unique, chunky shading. The style works well with the book, giving it a futuristic-like tone.

Overall Rating...

Although this issue is light on plot, it has some great character interactions. Sliney's art is also excellent.